School years might soon be a matter of hours, not days

Posted December 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

by Alex Mallin

Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek, pre-filed legislation that would give school districts flexibility in deciding what days students should attend school.

“I feel like it would help every district in the state,” Rowland said. “They don’t have to adhere to that rule if they don’t want to. For some schools it would work better than others.”

Current state law requires students to be in class for eight hours per day if their district has a four-day-a-week schedule. Students have to be in school for six hours a day if they are on a five-day-a-week schedule.

Rowland’s bill would shift those requirements to be measured in total hours, rather than in days per week.

Rowland said some schools would save on utility and operational costs by cutting down the number of days students are in school per week.

Mike Lodewegen, a lobbyist for the Missouri Association of School Administrators, said the group worked with Rowland to craft the bill.

“Every district has different needs,” Lodewegen said. “I know some districts are now moving to a four-day school week. I know of some schools that are talking about the possibility of year-round school.”